Are we conserving the soils?

We invite you to reflect on soil management and use different site-specific agriculture tools (AEPS®) for better use of the resource.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), it can take hundreds of years for a centimeter of soil to form from dead rock; for that reason it is considered a non-renewable resource. 

According to studies by this same organization, about 33% of the planet's soils face moderate to severe degradation. In other words, they are losing their functions as a natural resource and a base for production activities.

What does this mean? That we are in arrears of paying due attention to such an important resource as water, animals and plants. 

2015 was declared the International Year of Soils and, therefore, it is the best opportunity for society and agriculture in general to reflect on the management of this resource and what they can do to contribute to the conservation of the soils of the Valle del Cauca river.

There are a series of tasks that reduce the wear, loss and destruction of soil particles by the action of water or wind. These tasks can be physical works, like ditches; biological, such as planting trees and plants to build barriers; or conservation management practices, such as putting organic material on the ground and doing minimal or reduced tillage to conserve the soil structure and avoid degradation processes such as compaction and erosion.

AEPS tool:

• Technical Recommendations Guide (GRT): It contains updated technical information on the agronomic management of the crop for each agroecological zone, and its purpose is to guide the producer on the application of the site-specific agriculture approach. Includes information on field design, land adaptation and soil preparation; seedbeds and varieties; planting and replanting systems; water management: irrigation and drainage; mechanical workforce and soca; fertilization; harvest; waste management and plant health. 

 The exaggerated use of chemical products, whether pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers, alters the life cycle of different organisms that are involved in the biological activity, diversity and productivity of soils. Soil contamination can be controlled by adhering to the recommended rates of use of chemicals, regular maintenance of equipment, and using alternative methods such as biological control.

AEPS tool:

• Expert Fertilization System (SEF): It offers fertilizer recommendations and amendments with specifications on dosage, times, sources and methods of application, according to the chemical analysis of samples taken at each soil consociation present in a luck and considering some physical and crop characteristics.

There are different tools that allow to know the current state of the soil, the risks of its deterioration and the activities for which they are suitable according to different characteristics. Making an adequate use of the soil allows to obtain greater productivity of the crop, conserve the soil and take advantage of it for a longer time.

AEPS tool:

• Map server: access to the thematic coverage available by sugar mill, farm and sugar cane through consultations to the Geographic Information System (GIS): detailed study of soils, homogeneous soil groups, humidity groups, agro-ecological zones, meteorological data and climate behavior, burning restriction zones and crop monitoring with satellite images.

• Verification of humidity groups: offers the option of easily verifying which Moisture Group best describes the soil conditions in each type of farm.

Detailed study of soils and agroecological zoning

The Colombian sugar sector has a detailed study of soils, essential to carry out sustainable agriculture and an important contribution from the agro-industry for the conservation of the soils of the Cauca river valley. 

This study, carried out by the Agustín Codazzi Geographical Institute (Igac) with the coordination of Cenicaña and the co-financing of Colciencias (cartographic restitution) and property owners, allowed the identification of 238 soils in the Cauca river valley. 

Subsequently, based on this information and in order to guide soil management for sugar cane, 158 agroecological zones or relatively homogeneous zones were identified, which are characterized by presenting stable physical-chemical factors that allow the application of specific agriculture. per site.

To consult

En All the AEPS tools are available to make better use of the soil in your crop and the procedure to use the soil analysis service for fertilization recommendations.

Information letter
3 Year / 1 Number / July of 2015

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